BC and Yukon treaty nations gather to discuss implementation
BRITISH COLUMBIA REGION - The Maa-nulth First Nations and the NCFNG hosted the Learning From Experience: In Pursuit of Effective Implementation Forum held at the Hupacasath House of Gathering on April 9 and 10.
Maa-nulth nations have a great deal to accomplish before the effective date of their treaty. That was the message at the treaty implementation conference held at the House of Gathering in Hupacasath, located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
The Nisga’a, Yukon and Westbank First Nations sent representatives to share their experiences in law-making, land use planning, delivering programs and services, and institutional capacity-building.
Tsawawassen First Nation’s Chief Kim Baird also brought a delegation to attend the forum. Tsawawassen and Maa-nulth nations have recently ratified their treaty agreements.
Chief Baird shared a community-developed guide to help navigate the overwhelming amount of work in treaty implementation. The guide included sections on institutional development, financial development, and relationship building with nearby municipalities and leaseholders on Tsawwassen treaty lands. Experience has shown that land use planning is as critical as negotiating a treaty.
Among those offering support was Ed Allen, COO of the NCFNG, who, along with Maa-nulth’s Angela Wesley, served as forum co-emcees.
Maa-nulth members were able to attend courses offered by the NCFNG to build capacity for the work of implementation.
“The essence of governance,” said Allen, “is coming together to make decisions,” a capacity that has always been a part of First Nation societies. Now, with treaties, the foundation is being set for governance in a modern context.